To speed up the grant of a patent application, the provision to ‘expedite a patent application’ has been included in the Patents (Amendments) Rules of 2016.
A new rule – 24C has been inserted with this amendment and it encompasses the details and procedure of ‘expediting the examination of patent applications’. An applicant of a patent application can file a request for expedited examination on Form 18A along with the requisite fee. This filing can however only be done by electronic transmission and not through physical means.
The rule 24C further explains that a form requesting for expedited examination can only be filed on the following grounds:
that India has been indicated as the competent International Searching Authority or elected as an International Preliminary Examining Authority in the corresponding international application; or
that the applicant is a start-up.
These Patent (Amendments) Rules define ‘start-up’ as an entity as a registered company which has been incorporated or registered within last 5 years and:
that its turnover for any of the previous 5 financial years did not exceed INR twenty-five crores; and
that it is working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialisation of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.
The rule 24C of the Patents (Amendments) Rules even specifies that the Examiner can make the report within a period of one month from the date of reference. The time frames for the further process of such an application have also been curtailed as compared to an application filed otherwise.
Do not miss this opportunity if you match the criteria!